Friends and family of Nawwaf Abdullah Salim Al Nuaimi spoke of their shock at the pilot’s death in a training accident on Sunday after having spoken to him earlier in the day.
The 32-year-old Air Force captain was laid to rest in Al Jurf cemetery after funeral prayers at Sheikh Zayed Mosque.
The General Command of the UAE Armed Forces said Al Nuaimi’s plane went down during a training flight over the UAE, killing him and an instructor.
“I can’t believe he is gone, he was with us in the morning and now he is buried," said Issa Al Nuaimi, the serviceman’s brother. “I was at work when I received a call informing me that he died in a plane crash."
The pilot was married with two young children, Abdullah, 3, and Ayesha, 2. He lived with his family in Mushrif.
“He joined the military in 2001 and joined the Air Force in 2004. He loved his country and the fact that he was a soldier for this great country," Issa said.
Tariq, the pilot’s younger brother, was still in shock.
“I can’t believe he is gone, he was a great man, loyal, supportive to his family and caring for his brothers and sisters. He was always smiling, he loved to help and go out with his friends, he was athletic and loved sports," Tariq said.
Khalid Al Awadi said he had spent Saturday evening with his close friend watching football.
“We sat in a cafe and watched Barcelona. We had fun and enjoyed our time before we went home. In the morning he sent us a message on Whatsapp wishing us a good day," Khalid said.
Abdullah Al Marzoqi was also shocked to hear of his friend’s death. “Nawwaf was my friend for the past 10 years, he was known for his big smiles and his care for his friends and family."
No information was released regarding the location of the crash, the type of aircraft or when the crash occurred.